December 2014 – The London restaurant/hotel hot-spot opened among the historic (1889) London firehouse remains by hotelier Andre Balazs earlier this year. Balazs, the detail-oriented founder of New York’s Mercer and Standard hotels as well as L.A.’s Chateau Marmont, is new to the London scene but that hasn’t stopped London’s creative elite (often followed by the paparazzi) from making their way to Chiltern Firehouse. The chef, Nuno Mendes (one Michelin star), is joined by sommelier Romain Audrière. Food (elegant & simple), wine (well suggested & approachable) and space (fresh & modern with a firehouse relic here and there) do not disappoint, with the exception of a single table from which seems to sprout what must be a structurally necessary column. The difficulty of securing a reservation is apparently on the rise, so do plan well in advance. 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London. Restaurant 020 7073 7676, rooms 020 7073 7653 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner only; enjoy!
Food & Spirits
March 2014 – This establishment’s name actually translates to “a unique culinary experience.” Chef Amaryll Shwertner combines artisan oils and spices with the bounty of the San Francisco Bay area to create fragrant and edible works of art. Boulettes Larder staples can be purchased most afternoons and on Saturday from their adjacent shop (don’t miss the Eastern European style hot chocolate). Dinner service is available Wednesday through Friday from 5pm to 9pm, offering the best view of The Bay Lights project upon exiting… (415) 399-1155, 1 Ferry Building, Suite 48, San Francisco.
November 2013 – Two of the finest Southern contributions to the holiday season? Deep fried Thanksgiving turkey and hand crafted whiskey. The history of illicit alcohol production in the U.S. dates back to Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton suggesting the taxation of whiskey pay off America’s substantial $21 million Independence War debt. Next came Prohibition, followed promptly by the evidence of its failure. Not only was the ban on alcohol blatantly ignored but an iconic era of American decadence was born. Whether bourbon or rye (each should contain just over 50% of corn or rye respectively), a slightly chilled serving of the stuff is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. Experimentation is a must; American rye is typically a bit less sweet than it’s bourbon counterpart and a choice between the Manhattan and the Perfect Manhattan results in a slight difference in sweetness as well. A Manhattan boasts only sweet vermouth while the Perfect Manhattan blends both sweet and dry vermouth. full story
June 2013 – The speak-easy style entrance to this Washington, D.C. based restaurant is inspiration for inclusion in this particular volume, but the food warrants inclusion in any traveling foodies’ plans. James Beard Foundation award winner Chef R. J. Cooper shakes things up on every level; from breaking tradition with what’s typical of DC dining, to flanking the prep kitchen with dining patrons, to stretching the standard number of courses to a minimum of 16. Mostly, Chef Cooper artfully blends unexpected combinations, achieving flavor perfection. The menus change daily…do not miss the drink pairings! www.rogue24.com
October 2012 – Everyone knows NYC offers some of the best dining, as well as some of the best cultural events, the world has to offer. A great way to dine well and leave the evening open for theatre is to linger decadently over lunch. Two, of less than a handful of NY based restaurants which have been awarded both the coveted Michelin 3 stars and the New York Times highest rating of 4 stars, are Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park. Le Bernardin, a jewel in the crown of the city’s fine dining options for the past two and a half decades, offers fresh French cuisine with honest flavors in a refreshed (the dining room was redesigned in 2011) atmosphere. The oysters are simply the best; the wine pairings elegant and traditional.
Eleven Madison Park, much newer to the scene and earning three Michelin stars earlier in 2012, scores a home run with the exploration of flavors combined with positively brilliant wine pairings. At first sip, one might say “interesting”; a bite of food from the corresponding course followed by a second sip of wine might lead one to encourage a lunch date by exclaiming “oh my God, take a bite of that and then a drink of your wine!” Wine Director, Dustin Wilson, deserves kudos. Chef Daniel Humm, who received his first Michelin star at the age of 24, also works his magic at the more recently opened (and just blocks away) Nomad Hotel restaurant.